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The SEOSiteCheckUp Guide to Increasing Engagement Across the Board

Jason Roy

An engaging business is—generally speaking—a profitable business. The more engagement you have, the bigger your following grows. The more ideas you can generate for brand new products. The more income you make with your online business or website.

It really is that simple.

But what isn’t simple, is figuring out how to increase engagement. Sure, saying “engagement leads to profit” is great… in theory. How can you actually go and, right now, make changes to your site that will dramatically increase engagement?

This article looks to answer that question, through mindsets that—if adopted—will put you at the top of the pyramid.

Ever since the Panda update, Google’s also based rankings on engagement. Therefore, there’s a very important rule to understand (one that’s at the core of “New SEO”): 

What’s good for your business is good for your rankings! 

In a way, Google’s done us a favor. Instead of being forced to play a numbers game, and compete against companies with MASSIVE budgets, we can now work on creating a real business from the ground up and have an equal opportunity to rank well against massive companies.

And, as you read this article, you’ll notice the recurring theme… that all these engagement increasing changes work synergistically. Boosting engagement will boost sales, traffic, Google rankings… the list goes on and on.

So… let’s get started!

The Importance of Design

First and foremost, I’d like to say a few words about design. Several years ago, the subject of the design was practically non-existent. Most people held the idea that design came second to, well, just about everything else in online business. Once you had the “fundamentals” down, you could focus on the actual design.

This is backward, and the new social web is really proving this to be the case. The sites that go viral and get flooded with traffic are the sites that look good. It’s that simple!

But it’s not just about “looking good”. There’s a big difference between effective web design and pretty web design. Ideally, you have both. However, the core concept to keep in mind when designing your site is, “what do I want the customer to do?”

ALWAYS focus on one main task you want your customers to do. For example, if the most important part of your business is getting a customer’s email, then your entire site should be designed, from the ground up, to make getting an email as easy as possible. This way, you ensure that as many people enter their email as possible!

The same mindset works whether you want a sale, an email, a comment, etc.

Sales

So you want more sales… who could blame you? Here’s the news: most people have the idea of “sales” backward.

They think it’s all about SELLING. What if they aren’t making sales, they need to get better at SELLING. In fact, the reality is, if you’re not making sales, you need to get better at PRODUCT CREATION.

What do I mean by this? I mean your product MUST be valuable to sell! Think of it this way… your product should be so good that when your perfect customer looks at it, they’d be a complete idiot to not buy it!

Yes, knowing how to “sell” is very important. You need to know how to optimize conversion, how to copy write, etc. But if you don’t have a highly valuable product, at best, you’ll make a small handful of sales.

Instead, if you create a product that is literally the best product on the market for whatever your business is aiming to accomplish, you’ll need very little “sales” to get the ball rolling. Additionally, once the ball is rolling, you’ll continue to GROW in sales. This is because as people use your product or service and realize it’s the best available option, they’ll tell others about the service, leading to massive word-of-mouth marketing.

Email Opt-Ins 


Email opt-ins—when done correctly—can be the lifeblood of a business. After all, if you don’t have an email list and a customer isn’t an immediate buyer, you lose them forever. With a list, you have them in a database and can contact them whenever you want!

Increasing email conversions is about:

  1. Positioning and Frequency
  2. Value

For the first point, people won’t subscribe to your email list if it’s not obvious. Therefore, it’s vitally important you put the opt-in form in places your customers will easily see them. Also, it’s important to put more than one on your site.

But don’t get too carried away. If your site is littered with opt-in forms, it’ll convert much worse than just showing one!

So where should you place opt-in forms?

  • Above the fold – below the logo, but above the content.
  • At the top of the sidebar for pages
  • At the bottom of blog posts
  • On the “About” page

Additionally, we also recommend you use a “pop-up” opt-in form on your website. At one point, I thought these were horribly annoying and would end up messing with the user experience.

I was right, BUT, think of it this way… if you don’t collect an email, you have nothing. Someone who visits your site and bounces away is worth nothing to you, even if they had a pleasant experience on your site!

It may be annoying to have a pop-up in your face, but only for a second. And, provided your site delivers value, people will want to read the content regardless and will forget about the pop-up instantly. Therefore, it’s worth the increase in conversions!

Comments

Comments are a great way to increase engagement to your blog, or any articles you’re featuring on your site. 

When brand new visitors look at your site, they look for social proof indicators. They want to make sure your site is legitimate. One of the major social proof indicators is comments. If lots of people are commenting and engaging in discussion, it shows that the blog is active, provides value, and people enjoy reading it.

If there are no comments, it shows that the business is either brand new or poor quality… neither prospect is interesting to a brand new customer.

Therefore, it’s important to have a well-commented blog (or articles on your site).

What’s the best way to get this? The simplest thing you can start doing immediately is replying to every comment on your posts. This doubles your comment count, and also dramatically increases the odds that people will comment. If someone sees you’re replying to every comment, they’ll make the effort to make a comment, and get your insight on whatever they’re commenting about.

Does this take more time? Definitely. And, if you get to the point where you’re getting hundreds of comments, it’s not totally realistic. However, even if you’re getting 50-100 comments per post, it’s certainly worth replying to as many as possible, because it increases engagement on your site by a LOT. Remember, the more engagement on your site, the better it is in the long run!

SEO

The best way to increase your search rankings is through content marketing. If you’ve read any of our material on the New SEO, you know all about content’s impact on search rankings.

But here’s some more food for thought… it’s not just written content that will get you ranking well! In fact, visual media is a fantastic way to build links.

Remember, building links by focusing on the numbers game no longer works. In other words, if you hire someone to build thousands of links for your site, it’s not going to work… you’ll be penalized at best, and completely removed from Google at worst.

But links are still important. Therefore, we need to be building natural links. That is, links that come as a result of your visitors consciously choosing to link to you!

And the way to do this is through top-quality content. It’s relatively obvious… if you provide content that is game-changing for people, they’ll love to read it, and share it with everyone they know. We humans love to share, which is why we have such a great social web now!

Some content is shared and linked to more than others. Video and visual media, for example, are the best ways to get links and shares quickly and naturally. 

For example, the Dollar Shave Club released a video promoting their brand. Although it was focused on the brand, it EXPLODED virally on the internet. Within a few days, it had well over a million views, and as of now, it has almost 10,000,000 views! That’s 10,000,000 potential customers!

But not only that… the video was shared like CRAZY, and generated over 90,000 links (and counting)! Some of these links were from sites like Forbes, Businessweek, TechCrunch… major authorities!

As you can imagine, the amount of SEO authority this business gained through ONE VIDEO is absolutely incredible, and it’s something that wouldn’t’ve been possible without the connectivity of the social web.

The bottom line is, boosting engagement is a lot easier than most people think. If you use the mindsets we’ve discussed in this article, you’ll be able to stick out very far from the crowd.

Naturally, you’ll still need to do work, but it’ll be smart work. Meaning, work that will get you the absolute best results for the amount of time and effort you put into it.

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